It’s billed as the safest thing a cyclist can wear – but would you?
At £250 a pop, Hövding is an airbag for cyclists developed by a Swedish company and has just launched here in Bristol.
The collar, which inflates when it detects a crash, was developed in 2005 as part of a university master’s thesis by the company founders Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin.
Anna and Terese say they saw their project as an opportunity to find out whether it would be possible to develop a cycle helmet that people would be happy to wear – whether they had to or not.
John Adisi from The Cycling Revolution has brought the helmet to the UK.
“It was developed to save lives and it’s proven to be three-times more shock absorbent than regular helmets,” he said.
“The collar which you wear like a scarf and switch on detects 200 moves per second. When it detects a crash the helmet inflates in one-tenth of a second and it is a lot sturdier than anything else in the market.”
But are they reinventing the wheel here – do crash helmet really need to be re-designed?
“We say it’s always better to wear a helmet than not but, if you are going to wear one, use one that gives you more protection,” says John.
It certainly made an impact at its launch in Bristol at the Mud Dock, although one cyclist said he thought it may be better to have an airbag on the outside of buses instead of on your head.